Smappee toestelherkenning

 

Hi, I’m Smappee. I always let you know how much energy you are using, wherever you are, for each of your most important appliances individually. In fact, if you have me in your home, you don’t need to buy an energy meter for every appliance in your home to find out how much they consume. Are you curious how I detect your most important appliances? Find out all about it in this blog post!

 

 

 

Smappee identifies appliances like Shazam identifies songs.

Smappee shazamWhen you welcome me into your home you also have access to patented NILM technology. This Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring is a load disaggregation technology. Load disaggregation technology enables us to record the energy signal from an entire building and separate it into data that can be assigned to specific appliances. How does this actually work? You can compare me to Shazam, the app that identifies songs. My NILM enables me to detect appliances by their ‘tune’ on your power cable. Of course, I don’t mean that it’s normal when your fridge starts to sing ;). In fact, each appliance uses the electrical current in its own way, which creates a unique electrical melody.

Let me give you an example: a 1500-watt coffee machine has a different sound to a 1500-watt microwave. Even if the song lasts the same length of time, I can tell the difference between the two melodies and label the appliances in my app as ‘Appliance 1’ and ‘Appliance 2’. I do need your help to name them properly, though. You have to tell me which one is the coffee machine and which is the microwave.

Each time you switch an appliance on or off, I detect this electrical melody. The more frequently you turn your coffee machine on and off, the more quickly I can detect the electrical melody. So, after you have installed me, I need a little while to detect the most important appliances. Of course, this will depend on how many appliances you have in your home, but on average I recognise most appliances after two to three weeks. After six to eight weeks, I can assign up to 80% of your consumption to the right appliance. If I don’t detect your appliance quickly enough, you can help me out. If you turn a few appliances on and off, we can identify more appliances together.

If only appliance recognition was that simple!

Because I work in much the same way as Shazam, I also come up against a few limitations. Consider how difficult it is to identify a song with the Shazam app at a large festival with eight stages, where a different type of music is playing on each stage: hard rock, metal, pop, electro, jazz, etc. – let alone the people talking, laughing and singing. With all the electrical tunes coming from your lights, kitchen appliances, computers and printers, TVs and game consoles, chargers, etc., it is like hearing a huge symphony orchestra that never stops and trying to single out the different instruments (appliances). In the following three situations, it is not easy to precisely identify individual appliances:

  • Just as it is difficult to distinguish the sound of a cello from that of a double bass, I have trouble distinguishing between appliances with similar electrical melodies, or ‘twins’. For example, these might be appliances with similar capacities, such as coffee machines and kettles.
  • And then there are songs with a succession of different melodies – have you ever heard ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’? The different melodies can be pretty confusing and you might not realise it is all one song. In the same way, I can’t interpret appliances with a variable capacity, because they don’t have one clear electrical melody. Take a heat pump or an Ambilight TV, for example.
  • There is a good chance that when you leave a hard rock concert you will have several missed calls on your smartphone. It is much more difficult to hear your ringtone when it is drowned out by other, louder sounds. I also have difficulties hearing ‘quiet’ appliances. Those are appliances that use less than 30 watts, such as LED lights

But don’t worry! I always register the total energy consumption of your entire home with the utmost accuracy, even if I can’t detect the lights in your garage or your television right away. After all, you can see your total consumption in the ball pit of my app, including that of the unidentified appliances.

Good for your wallet and the environment

Smappee app detailed billLike every groundbreaking technology, my NILM technology is not perfect and I still have a lot to learn. However, just think of all the things you can do with this technology in your home: detect and replace energy guzzlers, get a grip on stand-by consumption and receive warnings about leaks or danger. This creates extra comfort, because you know exactly what’s going on in your home and you can save up to 30% on your energy bill.

Let’s go! Install me. If you want to find out how, take a look at the Quick Install Guide in the packaging and the installation films and instructions on the website. Let’s discover the Smappee experience together in my next blogpost!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun fact

By the way, I have another fun fact for you! My NILM technology was invented by George W. Hart, Ed Kern and Fred Schweppe from MIT in the early 1980s. But I am the very first product in the world that uses this technology in an app for home use. With me in your home we are transforming science into reality!